The covid vaccination rate for first responders in the state is more than 95%. But it’s lower in more rural areas, where ambulance crews can’t function if even just a few people quit.
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With Kentucky in the grip of a covid surge, public health workers are taking their vaccination campaign house to house and church to church, trying to outmaneuver the fantastical tales spread on social media and everyday hurdles of hardship and isolation.
The pandemic is devastating rural America, where lower vaccination rates are compounding the already limited medical care.
Zoom in on states with overall good vaccination rates and you see a checkerboard effect, with rural areas far lagging urban zones. That’s allowed the pandemic to rage in places like Jackson County, Oregon, overwhelming hospitals.
Rural health experts are calling on trusted agricultural leaders — like farmers and ranchers — to use their understanding of science and nudge vaccine-hesitant neighbors to roll up their sleeves for a covid shot. But some farmers say they doubt they can change anyone’s mind.
In communities across the country, the Cooperative Extension System, the same organization that supports 4-H clubs nationally, is tapping its roots in rural communities to promote vaccines. But its approach to getting people vaccinated in many communities, including Cairo, Illinois, must be nuanced.
As vaccination rates rise across the state, the overall numbers of covid cases and deaths have plunged. But health officials are still reporting nearly 1,000 new cases and more than two dozen deaths a day. So, where does covid continue to simmer in California? And why?
Experts say rural communities must find new models to keep emergency services afloat as more 911 calls go unanswered.
Community health centers were born in the 1960s to reach low-income communities. But some rural health experts say federally qualified health centers were a missing piece in achieving early equity in the vaccine rollout.